Fr. Schrader's Weekly Column

​For previous weekly columns, please see the bulletins listing.

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June 27, 2021

My final bulletin column after 29 years of two pastorates! Where do I begin? How do I end? It seems to me that the best ways to do both is simply to say, "Thanks!"

Thank you for welcoming me 17 years ago when I arrived as the great unknown. People wanted to know (even before I got here) what I was going to change, and all I wanted to do was figure out which keys were for which doors at which site. Over the course of those next 17 years, together we decided what if anything was going to change, and when, and how. Though it borders on the precipice of laissez-faire, my basic philosophy for most things in life has always been, "If it’s not required, and it’s not forbidden, I don’t care." What all of us together cared most of all for was that, whatever we did, we did well for the sake of us all and for the God in whom we believe.

Thank you for your support throughout my time here, which basically has amounted to just one year shy of one-fourth of my whole life! In that time, I sold my share of a house down near Naples jointly owned by four of us priests since 2003, my mother died in 2016 and we sold her house as well, and for these past five months since my retirement to "senior status" became OK’d, I’ve been going through what seems like three home’s worth of stuff trying to whittle it all down to three room’s worth of retirement space. It hasn’t been easy, but your listening ears, caring hearts, and helping hands have made the task a possible one—for the most part.

Thank you for your patience. Your many cards and well-wishes have truly bolstered me at this time. Early on, I was trying to keep up my thank you replies almost by return mail. As moving day grows closer and closer, I had to set this goal temporarily aside in order to get everything packed so I will arrive at my retirement setting on time and so that my current quarters will be ready for my successor. When I get back in late July from a brief vacation, I will resume those acknowledgments with resumed vigor.

Thank you for being the finest staff and parishioners anywhere! Together, we have done some fine programs by way of faith formation and outreach to the wider community, as well as social programs that have been not only fun to do but supportive for the parish. Indeed, our Knights of Columbus and Ladies Auxiliary have evolved into a powerhouse of pastoral energy at the very heart of the parish. It is my profoundest wish that, if you are not already a member, you might join this coming year. Their spiritual and social zeal have been a tremendous support in so very many ways!

And I thank you for your faithfulness and perseverance. Pastoral changes are difficult on both sides of the equation. For us priests, we leave communities with whom we are familiar and which have been very supportive, and you the people similarly need time to adjust to the new cadence and gifts of any incoming successor. May God bless both parties who are equally transitioning with experiences of openness and welcome!

As to the week at hand, today is Welcome Weekend for all guests, we congratulate all those receiving Baptism or First Communion at Mass, and we support the Holy Father’s "Peter’s Pence" collection for the global emergency charity needs addressed each year. Garage sale drop-off times are today 11:00-2:00 and Mon.-Wed. 6:00-8:00. Monday, Centering Prayer is at St. Ambrose at 12:45 P.M. and the Moon is just below Jupiter. Tuesday at 6:00 P.M., new pastorates commence—please, welcome Father Peter Mottola as Peace of Christ’s second pastor! Wednesday, I wake up retired! Thursday is Canada Day. Friday, Exposition is 9:00-Noon, and Happy Birthday, Emily Kwiatkowski! Saturday, astronomical "Dog Days" begin. Sunday is Independence Day. Peace—and thanks to you all!

—Father Schrader